Control Your Facebook and Twitter History

As you read this blog post, there may be someone Googling information about you. What do you want them to find? That is why it’s important to clear your browsing history. Molly Wood shares a video and explains how to download and delete activity on Facebook and Twitter.

Before you begin to clean your Facebook and Twitter history, take a moment and see where you stand. If you’re concerned, Molly has some advice in the NY Times on how to take control your browsing history.

Why Use Music To Influence Your Writing

I enjoy using music to inspire my writing. The lyrics of a song can trigger your imagination and influence the way you write in so many ways. So, the next time you sit down to write find a song listen to the rhythm and let it influence the words you place on to the paper.

In the words of Melissa Muhlenkamp, author of Writing Under The Influence (of Music), “I don’t hold back the jam. Instead, I let it guide me.”

Why don’t you also give it a try? Take the thewritepractice.com challenge, and take the next fifteen minutes to write a story based on the following song, “End Of An Era” by Zack Hemsey. When you’re finished, post your practice piece in the comments section.

Change.org Petition: Don’t Boycott Amazon

Did you know that a large percentage of e-books sold on Amazon are from independent authors? You may have heard about the dispute between Amazon and Hachette, encouraging buyers to boycott amazon in relation to purchasing books or e-books. Self-published author Hugh Howey strikes back. He has just launched a letter of his own: “Change.org petition from self-publishing writers,” thanking readers for their support, explaining self-published authors’ side of the Amazon/Hachette feud, and asking them not to boycott Amazon.

The letter explains that it may not be a major issue for wealthy authors, who do not have an issues finding a publishing company; however, this is changing for self-publishing authors, because Amazon and other online retailers are paying authors a fair wage. Now that you have heard both sides of the story—Which side are you on?

You can find this petition here.

The Secret To Creating Excellent Content Everyday

Writing good content, like anything else, requires proper research, planning, and execution. A prepared writer can implement a system to prevent writer’s block. Katie’s article, “The Prepared Writer’s Process for Creating Excellent Content Every Day” published on Coppyblogger shares a few tips to help prevent writer’s block and produce new content everyday.

One useful tip I took from this article was the importance of scheduling writing time. Scheduling time to write has helped me to avoid the excuse, “I have no time to write.” Even if you don’t know what you want to write about, still schedule the extra time, because this will help you stay consistent as a writer and have extra material ready.

It is also important to have a framework, know what you want to write about everyday. But, before you start to write, take some time and outline your ideas and then begin to write. If you’re stuck and can’t write, go back and refine and edit what you have previously wrote.

Here is a bonus exercises: creativity triggers if you get stuck

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Source: christabanister.com

If you’re having trouble getting into the writing zone, take two minutes to do one of these creativity triggers by Katie:

  •  Read an unrelated article that is inspiring or funny
  • Stand on your head (really, it gets the blood flowing!)
  • Review your cornerstone content to ensure your post aligns with your goals

Making Games: A Different Approach To Learning

Kids shouldn’t sit in front of television screens all day, but they do. Since we can’t get them away from the television set, why not use games as tool for teaching. Using games as an educational tool provides opportunities for deeper learning, such as the increase in memory, performance, social interaction, and classroom engagement. In addition, there is more than one way to teach using games. Mind Shift shares an article about how making games can be used as a form of learning. Game making is one way to create a space where students are empowered to freely experiment with their own way of framing ideas and choosing perspectives.

Gamestar Mechanic is a great example of a game-making tool that can be used for learning. Gamestar Mechanic is a web-based software platform with a drag and drop interface that makes it simple for kids to make their own games. Kids can take the content they have learned and turn it into a game that they can use or other classmates can use. If a child can turn their classroom notes into a fun, engaging and exciting game, this is reassurance that they know the material.

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Source: http://www.chron.com

Gamestar Mechanic continues to grow and is becoming widely used in the classroom. Gamestar Mechanic is currently used in more than 7,000 schools, with over 600,000 youth-created games published and played over 20 million times in 100+ countries.

Game design shows kids that coding is ultimately a semiotic system. Coding has become very popular, and can be challenging to understand and learn. Gamestar Mechanic involves language and can make coding easier for kids. Teachers are encouraged to step away from the traditional methods of pedagogy and bring gaming into the classroom.

What Have PWer’s Been Up To?

WRAC would like to take a moment and acknowledge all the hard work that is taking place amongst the Professional Writing students in the department.

PW sophomore, Claire Babala was one of nine students featured in the MSU President’s Report. Check out the video below to meet Claire.

PW senior, Richa Choubey, has accomplished a great deal in her four years at MSU. She is featured on msu.edu right now and shares an inspiring path that lead her to focus on film and television.

PW senior, Riley Sutika, works for the AOP office. This past year, she coordinated the Project 60/50 essay contest and did some AMAZING work.

And another PW student, Jade Wiselogle, landed an internship in NYC with Seventeen Magazine for the summer. Congratulations!

Congratulations to all our PWer’s who landed an internship this year. If there are any PWer’s that would love to write a guest blog post to take a moment and share their summer internship experience, email wrac@msu.edu.

What Is Character Agency?

As you kick back on the patio with a glass of pina colada, and finally dedicate time to that novel you’ve been dying to finish, remember that a character’s role in storytelling is essential and must have a sense of agency. What is agency? Terribleminds breaks it down. Agency demonstrates the ability to make decisions that affect the story. A character’s agency pushes, creates and changes the plot. The characters contribute to the existence of the story, and the audience then connects with characters based on empathy, sympathy, and pathos; therefore, one of the most basic and fundamental aspects of creating a character is making them feel and seem human.